The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Raila Welcomes Obama's Plea On March 4 Polls

Photo: Tami Hultman/AllAfrica
Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of state for African affairs

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has welcomed the move by US President Barrack Obama to take a neutral position in the upcoming general election.

Speaking in Homa Bay town yesterday at a Cord rally, Raila said this will give a level playing ground for all presidential candidates to compete fairly.

He said Obama's move reflects the level of democracy in the US. "We should emulate the US where the citizens went beyond racial lines to elect Obama who is black," he said.

Raila urged Kenyans to, in the same way, move past tribal lines. The PM's tour comes amidst division in the Nyanza region over ODM's hotly disputed primaries.

However Raila claimed the violence experienced in the county was sponsored by their opponents.

"Our opponents wanted us not to field any candidate in our strongholds so they sponsored some individuals to cause chaos so that our candidates could be disqualified," he said.

He said ODM, which is an affiliate party of Cord, needs as many elective posts as possible in the forthcoming general election. Raila said the number of seats the party gets will determine the number of seats shared among parties within Cord.

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